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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sampling, Storing and Shipping Snow Crystals to Correlate and Photograph Images Using Light Microscopy and Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscopy.

item Wergin, William
item Rango, Albert
item Erbe, Eric

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Eastern Snow Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Photographing snow crystals with a light microscope requires working at subfreezing temperatures in elaborately designed cold laboratories or in snow pits. Under these conditions the crystals are highly susceptible to sublimation, condensation and melt. This study reports on a procedure that attempts to eliminate the problems generally associated with light microscopic (LM) studies and enables one to correlate LM images with those ontained from a higher resolution techinque known as low temperature scanning electron microscopy (LTSEM). The results indicate that problems commonly associated with recording images of snow crystals with a LM can be overcome. Samples can be shipped from remote locations and stored for indefinite periods of time. Photography, which does not require use of a cold laboratory, can be performed at ambient temperatures. In addition, the results from this technique can be easily compared to those attainable from LTSEM, which provides more detailed images of the surfaces of snow crystals and assists with the interpretation of LM photomicrographs that are complex because they contain structural information from the external surfaces as well as from any interior facets of the crystals.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015